EPA Reports Gas Mileage for New Cars Has Declined Slightly
Less than 6 percent of the 2002-model cars and trucks arriving in showrooms get better than 30 miles per gallon, and new cars on average get slightly less gasoline mileage than the 2001 models, according to the annual fuel economy statistics released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Associated Press reported.
The popularity of gas-guzzling sport/utility vehicles and pickups again held down the overall numbers for the 865 cars, trucks, and vans.
Just 48 models, led by two hybrid vehicles powered by gasoline and electricity, get 30 mpg or more in combined city and highway driving. More than a third, 330 models, get less than 20 mpg. The majority, 487 models, get 20 to 30 mpg.
Overall, new passenger vehicles average 21 mpg. Last year’s weighted average, based on sales for all-new passenger cars and trucks, was 20.4, a 21-year low.
Average fuel economy for the 491 cars is 23.9 mpg, a slight decrease from 24.2 in 2001. That compares with 17.9 for 374 models or variations of SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks, a modest in-crease from 17.3 in 2001.